Impact assessment on new genomic techniques – Why participation of non-GMO producers and marketers matters

Impact Assessment on New Genomic Techniques

As you may be aware, the EU Commission has announced an impact assessment for new GMOs for the second quarter of 2022. Once published, one will have twelve weeks to participate.

The attached briefing informs you about what exactly the impact assessment is about, why participation is very important for producers and marketers of non-GMO products, what you need to know about it, and how we, ENGA board members, can support you in the process.

An impact assessment is part of an EU legislative process. Stakeholders affected by a change of legislation, such as businesses, have the opportunity to comment on policy options proposed by the EU Commission and how these would affect their economic activity. 

On the basis of the impact assessment for new genomic techniques, the EU Commission will decide whether to submit a legislative proposal that amends the current EU legislation for new GMOs and, if so, to what extent. Specifically, it is about plants produced with targeted mutagenesis and cisgenesis, i.e. plants in which no foreign DNA is integrated. 

The main question is whether the precautionary principle, an authorisation procedure with a risk assessment with regard to effects on the environment and food safety as well as traceability and labelling, should continue to apply to new GMOs or whether this will no longer be the case after deregulation.

It is very important that producers and marketers of GMO-free conventional and organic food actively participate, as their business activities would be massively affected by a deregulation. In order to be able to reliably exclude GMOs, as it has been the case up to now, the feed and food sectors must know which products have been produced “with GMOs”.

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